The morning after receiving de Lucas’ e mail, I get up to a protracted WhatsApp message from Bishop. “I believe this has been despatched anonymously, for no matter purpose, by somebody who works within the lab talked about,” he writes. He factors to the CNB heading on the paper, the Spanish phrases within the letter, and the dearth of a postcode on the envelope as proof that the sender was from Spain. Even when the letter wasn’t real, Bishop claims, somebody had discovered his tooth, swabbed them for DNA, and returned them to him from Spain.
The notion of an nameless teeth-returning vigilante is interesting. Who hasn’t been dismayed after dropping a prized possession whereas on vacation? If there’s a masked DNA-swabbing hero on the market reuniting holidaymakers with their misplaced trinkets, then it means nothing is really misplaced. Not eternally, anyway.
In fact, they’d need to get the DNA within the first place. Retrieving sufficient DNA to establish somebody from 11-year-old misplaced dentures is theoretically doable however extraordinarily unlikely, says Denise Syndercombe Courtroom, a professor of forensic genetics at King’s Faculty London. “In the event you take the DNA off and protect it in one thing and stick it in a freezer, then in all probability 11 years later you are able to do that,” she says. However that may imply swabbing the dentures as quickly as they have been misplaced, not years after they have been found in a recycling bin or rubbish pile. After which there’s the query of the DNA database talked about within the letter. Syndercombe Courtroom struggles to consider a database that might provide you with somebody’s identify—except the evaluation was achieved on behalf of a legislation enforcement company. All this leaves her “skeptical” that Bishop was tracked down by DNA evaluation in any respect.
Shortly after Syndercombe Courtroom casts doubt on the DNA evaluation, I lastly hear again from Buckingham Palace. Bishop did invite the Queen to go to the working males’s membership the place he was, and nonetheless is, common supervisor in 2020. Maybe the return of the dentures was all a ruse to direct the world’s gaze as soon as once more towards Ridge Hill Working Males’s Membership? A number of of the articles about his tooth did point out that Bishop supposed to show the gnashers on the membership, in spite of everything. And if the Spanish letter was a hoax, then maybe the letter declining the invitation that Bishop says was despatched on behalf of the Queen was additionally faked?
Buckingham Palace quickly put a cease to that line of inquiry. The letter from the Queen’s deputy correspondence coordinator was actual, a spokesperson confirms. Bishop was not, so far as I might inform, a serial letter hoaxer.
By this level, it was clear that the letter had yielded all of the clues it needed to give. To seek out out extra, I wanted to go to the merchandise on the very coronary heart of this thriller. It was time to grapple with the tooth.
The dentures Bishop acquired within the publish now not match him in any respect. Bishop places this right down to his mouth—and the sizes of dentures that go into it—getting smaller over time. “My mate who’s a dental technician tells me that each three or 4 years, your palate shrinks so no matter tooth you’ve received will ultimately not work correctly,” he says. However Bishop’s previous dentures aren’t simply too massive for his mouth, in addition they comprise too many tooth. Twenty-four tooth, actually: They have been a full prime set, minus knowledge tooth. And but, within the video the place Bishop removes his present partial dentures for a radio interview, it’s clear that his present false choppers comprise solely six or so tooth. Both Bishop has gained some further tooth, or the tooth aren’t his.